Aircraft Maintenance Technology

MAR 2018

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division and one of the main topics was to expand our production capabilities and footprint in North America," Fondell says. "The new shops and additional hangar more than doubled our production work space. And, we added some new technologies." These include high flow pneumatics and avionics. LTCS added its fourth ATEC (Series 6 automatic avionics test bench). Lufthansa has also recently announced expansion in Florida with a distribution warehouse in Fort Lauderdale and a sales office in Miami. WHY TULSA? Lufthansa Technik has a long history in Tulsa going back to about 1998 when it opened a corporate sales office, Fondell says. That led to the acquisition of Bizjet and a composite business, although the composite business is no longer in operation. "We still do own Bizjet and it is being converted now from what was a completion center to primarily engine services," he says. "Because we had that presence in Tulsa, and we had available space we started an avionics shop here in 2007. And then in 2012, we moved all component work from the region to Tulsa. "We invest in Tulsa because the area is very much focused on aerospace." Oklahoma is also home to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, employing more than 26,000 aircraft professionals. American Airlines' MRO center is located in Tulsa with more than 6,000 aerospace workers. According to a report released last year, the Tulsa International Airport and surrounding aviation and aerospace businesses generate an annual economic impact of $11.7 billion. ATTRACTING QUALIFIED WORKFORCE Technical colleges in the area such as Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology and Tulsa Tech help provide the needed technicians. "As aerospace is the second most prominent industry in Oklahoma behind oil and gas, there are quite a few engineers from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma University," Fondell states. "It makes for an environment that we can support our manpower requirements." LTCS has been regularly attending job fairs at the universities to attract talent. It offers internships to engineering students, for example. Several of them have ended up working for the company. It also has an apprenticeship program partnering with Tulsa Tech and Tulsa Community College. "We have a good reputation in Tulsa as a good employer and that's helped to attract talent," Fondell says. In addition, LTCS recognizes that the downturn in oil and gas has provided some manpower, which maybe wouldn't have been available otherwise. INDUSTRY GROWTH In 2017 LTCS did about 28,000 shop load events, and it has around 150 technicians in Tulsa. "We anticipate that we will continue growing, and we want to more than triple our output over time and would definitely see a buildup in personnel,"Fondell says. "What level that will be in the future will depend on the technologies and the shop load events that we're able to achieve." Lufthansa Technik has a lot of power by the hour contracts with customers in the Americas and the foundation of the component services was to enable production in the region. "As that business continues to grow substantially, we see induction coming from our power by the hour contracts. But, by expanding the Tulsa platform we want to also win business in the large closed loop market of the Americas," Fondell says. The Lufthansa Technik production platform in Hamburg is still growing, Fondell says. "We focus on building up newer technologies like A350 and B787 in Hamburg and we're focused here on the aircraft that are prevalent in the region; A320 and B737 primarily with some regional capability and some other part numbers for other aircraft types. EXPANSION CEREMONY of the facility in Tulsa, OK, in November 2017: Stephen Fondell, LTCS managing director, during his speech. PRIMARY FLIGHT display repair in the avionics shop.

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